Children In Slavery

By Eliza Lee Follen

When children play the livelong day,
   Like birds and butterflies;
As free and gay, sport life away,
   And know not care nor sighs:
Then earth and air seem fresh and fair,
   All peace below, above:
Life’s flowers are there, and everywhere
   Is innocence and love.
When children pray with fear all day,
   A blight must be at hand:
Then joys decay, and birds of prey
   Are hovering o’er the land:
When young hearts weep as they go to sleep,
   Then all the world seems sad:
The flesh must creep, and woes are deep
   When children are not glad.